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Royal Bahraini Air Force students modernize skills with Team Shaw

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Steven Cardo
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force 372nd Training Squadron hosted Royal Bahraini Air Force students to expand their knowledge and technical experience on a newer generation of F-16 Fighting Falcons, Jan. 22 to March 15, 2024.

The RBAF visited Shaw to modernize their skill sets and learn U.S. Air Force methods of performance from experienced F-16 technicians and bring knowledge back to their home units, increasing their operational efficiency, strengthening global defense and fortifying partnerships between the two nations.

“We started building classes and developing course documents early last year and liaised with the [20th Maintenance Group] to give the Bahraini students insight on day-to-day U.S. Air Force maintenance operations,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. William Cheek, 372nd TRS Detachment 2 senior enlisted leader. “Different nations conduct maintenance in a different manner and not only did they want to learn how we conduct business in a training setting, but also operationally on the flightline. [The collaborative training effort demonstrated] our commitment to allied nations and increasing our interoperability.”

The training unit received 32 Bahraini students from across seven career fields and conducted 15 classes, with some students attending multiple sessions. The training courses introduced concepts and techniques to expand the operational capabilities of the RBAF maintainers.

“We’re here to learn updated methods of working on our newer generation of aircraft,” said Royal Bahraini Air Force Warrant Officer 4 Ahmed Almalood, flight communication and navigation supervisor. “A majority of our team is experiencing certain aspects of maintenance for the first time, such as our weapons members being inside the cockpit and working with systems they don’t normally see. I appreciate the team who is responsible for our training in the 372nd TRS Detachment 2 for making our visit possible, making the training easy to understand and helping us with everything that was needed.”

The 372nd TRS Detachment 2 is a multi-faceted training unit dedicated to developing the readiness of 20th Fighter Wing maintenance personnel. 372nd TRS instructors and leaders worked with various units within the 20th Maintenance Group to develop an effective curriculum for teaching host students and the RBAF airmen simultaneously.

“We benefited from the partnered experience because we learned some of the ways they do their job in their country,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joshua Raigoza-Esquivel, 77th Fighter Generation Squadron inspection section team member. “[When we were problem solving] we would work together to find answers and the results we were looking for, leading to a job done safely and efficiently.”

U.S. Air Force students learned alongside the RBAF airmen in joint training environments, establishing team cohesion and exchanging technical and cultural experiences.

“As Airmen, our core values are much like theirs and vice versa,” said Raigoza-Esquivel. “They always showed a sense of integrity, service before self and excellence. We became a team quickly and I couldn’t be happier with the friendships I made. I’d like to see future classes with international students so we can learn more about each other and establish that team mindset with other military forces.”

The 372nd TRS worked closely with the 20th MXG to design an immersive training environment for the RBAF students, demonstrating routine U.S. Air Force maintenance operations. The training unit anticipates future collaborative efforts with allied nations to fortify international partnerships and strengthen global security.